Horton anchors Leics in successful chase

Leicestershire 218 (Robson 62, Payne 5-36) and 181 for 4 (Horton 73, Cosgrove 56) beat Gloucestershire 183 (Taylor 51, Raine 4-57) and 215 (Klinger 54, McKay 3-43) by six wickets

Half-centuries from Paul Horton and Mark Cosgrove helped Leicestershire to a six-wicket victory inside three days of their Championship game against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham College.

Set 181 to win, Leicestershire recovered from 16 for 2 shortly after lunch to seal victory with more than three sessions of the game to spare. Cosgrove hit an impressive 54 and Horton, an unbeaten 73. However, it was far from plain sailing on a festival wicket that once again provided plenty of encouragement for the bowlers.

Gloucestershire, resuming their second innings on their overnight total of 133 for 4, found themselves in trouble during the first session, against the Leicestershire trio of Ben Raine, Clint Mckay and Charlie Shreck. Although Michael Klinger reached 50 off 101 balls, with seven fours, he became the fifth Gloucestershire wicket to fall when caught behind off the bowling of Raine at 155 for 5.

Jack Taylor, with whom Klinger added 55 for the fifth wicket, departed off the final ball of the same Raine over and when Craig Miles and David Payne followed, in quick succession, Gloucestershire were 161 for 8.

Liam Norwell was bowled by McKay for 3, six runs later, before Benny Howell and Josh Shaw, who hit a career-best 29, gave Gloucestershire fresh hope with 48 for the final wicket.

Leicestershire, chasing a modest 181 for victory but mindful that Gloucestershire had bowled out Division Two leaders Essex for 151 on the final day of last week's Championship game at the picturesque college ground, lost Angus Robson before lunch and Neil Dexter shortly after.

However, Cosgrove and Horton not only batted with great patience to add 108 off 184 balls for the third wicket, but in doing so, took the visitors to within sight of a third Championship victory of the summer.

Cosgrove, who reached his half century off 88 balls, with seven fours, eventually chipped a catch to Will Tavare at midwicket, off the bowling of Graeme van Buuren, at 124 for 3. Still, Horton posted 50 off 113 balls and continued in the same sensible vein as Gloucestershire toiled in the late afternoon sunshine.

There were one or two close shaves along the way, before the slow left-armer van Buuren finally snared Horton, lbw for 73, at 163 for 4. Unfortunately, for Gloucestershire, it was too little too late and Mark Pettini and Niall O'Brien finally put Gloucestershire out of their misery, with more than 15 overs of the day remaining.